I've Never Been To Me

This is a pretty old song, released way back in 1977, and re-released in 1982. A couple of colleagues of mine (Tessa and Doc Lani) and I were reminiscing about old songs, when we thought about this one. We then started debating about the words. Tessa insisted that the word whoreing was mentioned in the lyrics. I thought otherwise, figuring that the sensibilities of the 1970's and 80's wouldn't be receptive to the use of the word. I was wrong. And I lost the bet. :-) Its a pretty nice song, and Tessa thinks its about a woman who's into prostitution. Seems like it, but I'm not so sure myself. What do you think? :-)

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I've Never Been To Me
Charlene

Hey lady, you lady
cursing at your life
you're a discontented mother
and a regimented wife
I have no doubt
you dream about the things you never do
but I wish someone had talked to me like I wanna talk to you

Oh, I've been to Georgia and California and anywhere I could run
Took the hand of a preacher man
and we made love in the sun
But I ran out of places and friendly faces
Because I had to be free
I've been to paradise but I've never been to me...

Please lady please lady
don't just walk away
Cause I have this need to tell you
why I'm all alone today
I can see so much of me
still living in your eyes
won't you share a part
of a weary heart that has lived a million lives

Oh, I've been to Nice and the isle of Greece
when I sipped champagne on a yacht
I moved like Harlo in Monte Carlo
and showed them what I've got
I've been undressed by kings
and I've seen some things that a woman ain't s'pose to see
I've been to paradise but I've never been to me...

Hey, you know what paradise is?
It's a lie
a fantasy we created about people and places
as we like them to be
but you know what truth is?
it's that little baby you're holding
and it's that man you fought with this morning
the same one you are gonna make love to tonight
that's truth that's love

sometimes I've been to crying for unborn children
that might have made me complete
but I, I took the sweet life
I never knew I'd be bitter from the sweet

I spent my life exploring
the subtle whoreing
that cost to much to be free
hey lady I've been to paradise
but I've never been to me...

I've been to paradise but I've never been to me...


Trivia:

This record was originally released in 1977 without the spoken part, and it only reached #97 on the Billboard charts. The artist was listed as 'Charlene Duncan'. 5 years later, a Florida dj started playing the original version and it got a lot of interest, so Motown re-released the record with the spoken part added and the artist name shortened to 'Charlene'. This time it became a big hit (#3 on Billboard).

Reference:

Am I Right - Misheard Lyrics, Charlene

Comments

Anonymous said…
not necessarily a prosti. think of a supermodel who has it all- except someone who really loves her. or a hedonist na mala king solomon who's "been there, done that" but finds out later on that he wants more.

after having all your dreams come true you'll weep (not because of joy) but because just like alexander, there will be no more lands to conquer. what you've achieved... has no meaning.

it's the saddest song in the whole world, pre. tnx nga pala. after all these years ngayon ko lang nalaman si charlene pala artist. I always thought it was nina simone or something.
evi said…
this is a favorite karaoke song coz it can easily match the tone of one's voice. i've heard people say that it is about a hooker.
JO said…
this is one of my fave song.

just blog hopping..
Ronald Allan said…
I think its about a woman of the world, who's done everything, been everywhere, except settle down, with a man she loves, and have a family.

So despite everything, she feels incomplete, never really knowing the true meaning of love.

Lalim no? Not bad for a song that was first played 28 years ago. A very nice song indeed. :-)

Thanks for commenting people. :-)
Naomi said…
literally, pang hostess nga.
pero kung logically naman, correct ka Pabs. It's about a woman, who not only sings, dances and acts, but also does the push-ups, jumps and do the 1,000 daily crunches. Woman ikanga pa ni Renee sa blog nya, is like a tea bag. You'll never know how strong she is until you put her in a hot water.."
Ronald Allan said…
Once in hot water, a woman can either be like a carrot, which softens up, an egg, which hardens, or like a teabag, which instead of softening or hardening, actually transforms the water into something else...:-)

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